The College of Engineering and Technology at the William V.S. Tubman University in Maryland County, southeast Liberia, risks closure for a semester to enable administration to address concerns of protesting students of the college. Protests by students have disrupted normal academic activities at the University, including ongoing midterm examinations.
In a letter addressed to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Supervisor of Students Affairs, Dr. Elizabeth Carbojosa, the aggrieved students lament that they are faced with numerous challenges that are seriously hampering their learning process, specifically in the Engineering College, and could no longer exercise patience with the present conditions.
Among the challenges, they name lack of practical training for courses such as Highway Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, Structural Engineering and Soil Mechanic. For the Department of Mechanical Engineering, they name fluid mechanic, kinematics of mechanic and dynamic system, while from the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University, the would-be engineers outline communication and electronics as among problems facing the department, stressing that if nothing were done by the administration to improve teaching of these courses, they foresee their degrees being questioned outside the University wall.
Speaking to this paper on behalf of the student body, students MacArthur Doetain and Edith Neufville of the department of Mechanical and Civil Engineering say they have resolved to stay out of school until January 2018, but during this period the administration thru the government should address 90 percent of their demands.
They express frustration over the learning process at the second state-run University where such important science courses are being taught for degree programs without hands-on experience.
In response to the students’ demands, the Acting Chair of the University Board of Trustees, Dr. Francis Keteh says the institution with take the issues up to the relevant authorities and notes that bringing in professors require a hiring process, among others.
He says administration is working with other Universities, including the University of Liberia to find professors as well as to provide basic hands-on equipment needed for students of the engineering college.
By George K. Momo from Maryland-Editing by Jonathan Browne